Loudon man dies battling brush fire at his house

GREENBACK — A 66-year-old Loudon County man with previous heart problems died while trying to extinguish a brush fire that got out of control at his house, authorities said.

Kenneth Carey was found dead about 1:42 p.m. Tuesday at his Greenback residence on Rudd Road, said Loudon County Sheriff’s Office Detective Jason Smith. Carey had not been dead long before his body was discovered.

Smith said a passerby noticed flames in the front yard of Carey’s residence and stopped to alert neighbors. The neighbors found Carey’s body at the rear of the house at the water faucet he had been using to get water to douse the fire.

Carey had started the fire to dispose of some brush at the house where he lived alone, Smith said. The fire got out of control and was moving toward a shed on his property.

Carey began ferrying water in a 5-gallon plastic bucket from the rear of the house to douse the fire at the front of his property, Smith said.

With each bucket full of water weighing more than 40 pounds, the exertion apparently took a toll on Carey’ heart, the detective said. Carey previously had undergone open heart surgery.

“He collapsed going back to the faucet,” Smith said.

Ironically, the grass fire burned itself out before reaching Carey’s shed or his house, Smith said. The flames never reached Carey’s body.